Saturday, 22 April 2017


He sat on his seat, anxious like everyone else. Since the past week or so, the hard workers had been quieter than usual. Over the same time, chronic ass-kissers had been stuffing their noses deeper than usual.

It was D-Day today - the day everyone's increments would be announced. Punit was among the quieter lot. He had always been a diligent and reliable employee. Working for a few extra hours and chipping in to help colleagues. He was a natural team player, and was sought after by team mates for his opinions - both work-related and otherwise. His commitment to work, however, meant that he had very little time for family. There were a zillion occasions when he had to slay family commitments at the sacrificial altar of work.

Very soon he was going to find out how he was going to be rewarded for his hard work and foregoing of the mythical 'work-life balance'. He was anxious, yet hopeful of a decent hike,,,and maybe a promotion.

He saw his colleagues being called into the boss' cabin. To his surprise, only a few stayed in for more than 10 minutes. The rest of them came back in just 5-10 minutes. Not the kind to be nosy, he didn't think of enquiring with them,

It was finally his turn. He adjusted his shirt and walked towards the glass door of his boss' cabin. He knocked twice before opening the door and peeping in.

"May I come in, Sir?"

"Punit, Punit...come in my friend."

"Thank you Sir."

The boss signalled for him to sit down. He did.

"My boy. I won't waste time telling you how much of a valuable asset you've been to the company. Everyone swears by your work rate and ethics. You've made so many sacrifices for the company my friend. But..."

"But what Sir?"

"You know the industry is not in great shape. It's getting increasingly harder to do business these days...ask the sales guys and they'll tell you."

Punit looked at him blankly, trying to make sense of what was being conveyed to him.

"Well, to cut a long story short's your increment letter."

Punit trembled a bit while opening the envelope. He read it. But he couldn't digest what he had read.

"Seven percent?"

"That's what everyone else is getting. The company has decided to link the increments with the forecast inflation rate."

"Who came up wit this forecast Sir? And assuming it turns out to be true, what about savings? The common man's needs have been increasing over the years Sir."

"There's no point arguing Punit. I would suggest you work harder this year. All of us working harder could help the company do better the next year, and that would mean more profits in the company's hands to share with its employees. We all need to roll up our sleeves Punit. You know how this works, don't you?"

Punit nodded, having given up.

"I'm sorry my friend. I'm getting the same hike as you are", Punit noticed him sheepishly look away as he said this.

Punit nodded. He stood up and shook his boss' hand.

"Thank you Sir."

"Continue the good work", his boss said, giving him a wink. "And remember...we all need to roll up our sleeves."

Punit stepped out of the cabin. He went to his seat and plonked himself on his chair. He lay his forehead down on the desk and began to think.

He thought of the long hours he spent at work, and the negligible time he spent at home.

He thought of the events he attended at work, and the festivals he had to forego at home.

He thought of the meals he had to skip while being busy at work, and the monthly grocery bills he had to regularly pay for.

But right then he remembered his boss' words.

"...we all need o roll up our sleeves."

He knew this was truly the need of the hour.

He sat up at his desk with a renewed vigour and belief.

Then he rolled up his sleeves.

And then he packed up his stuff and went home.

Please feel free to leave comments, whether or not you liked what you read. It's a great way to start a conversation or a dialogue. I might be pretty boring in real life, but I promise I'm a lot more fun in this avatar.

Previous posts in the A to Z Challenge - April 2017:-

A - All Apologies (Poem)
B - Baptism (Poem)
C - Chains (Short Story)
D - Door To My House (Short Story / Sentimental / Philosophy / Wisdom)
E - Evil Eye Deliverance (Short Story)
F - Flight of the Lonely Raven (Poem)
G - Girl With The Rings (Weird Story)
H - Hills Beckon (Poem)
I - Idyllic Sky (Short Story)
J - Judging Yasmin (Short Story)
K - Kiss of Death (Poem)
L - Lady of a Perpetual Sucker (Poem)
M - Mosaic You (Poem)
N - Nevermind (Weird Story / Short Story)

1 comment:

  1. My father always told me -Control your destiny or someone else will.


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